With a new report of higher retail sales spurred by electronics, appliances, and used car purchases, the Service Contract Industry Council and Motor Vehicle Protection Products Association are reminding consumers how important it is to purchase a service contract or motor vehicle protection product to cover you if your product breaks.
"It's great to see retail sales returning to pre-pandemic levels, and consumers increasingly purchasing electronics, appliances, or used cars should consider a service contract, which can save them their hard-earned money down the road," said Tim Meenan, SCIC and MVPPA Executive Director. These plans provide important financial security for consumers, and can save their hard-earned money down the road when the unexpected happens to their prized new purchase."
The Commerce Department reported an overall 18% increase in June retail sales, including receipts at electronics and appliance stores up by 3.3%. And while new motor vehicle purchases are declining due to scarcity, used vehicle sales are soaring.
Service contracts, also known as extended warranties or extended service plans, are popular as a cost-effective way to protect electronic devices, consumer goods, appliances, and new and used autos beyond the terms provided by the manufacturer's or seller's original warranty. They can be purchased at the point of sale or afterwards, and approximately 250 million service contracts are sold each year, offering flexible benefits that can include product repairs, replacement, technical support, and peace of mind.
Meenan offered the following consumer tips when purchasing a service contract:
- Read the provisions carefully and become thoroughly familiar with all coverage and exclusions.
- Carefully fulfill all obligatory responsibilities, such as proper handling, etc.
- Keep the service contract paperwork, original receipt(s), and all maintenance records in a secure, easy-to-access location.
- Use the service contract for all covered repairs to maximize the function, value, and enjoyment of your products.